Sudden strange behavior with 18 week old Welsummer

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by robbie1950, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. robbie1950

    robbie1950 New Egg

    Jun 19, 2016
    My Welsummer, Nancy, is 18 weeks old and all of a sudden has started making a strange squawking sound when she is around me. I have 5 other hens, each one a different breed, and I've gotten to know each hen's habits and behaviors. None of them have started laying yet and I wonder if Nancy's behavior of making a loud squawking noise only when I'm outside is a way of her telling me something is unusual. I've examined her and can't find any injuries. What could be going on?
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    She's probably getting close to reaching sexual maturity, they tend to get weird as they try to act like responsible adults but are still not quite there. Is she a dominant hen? Do you have any other older chickens? Without adults they sometimes do odd behaviors because they don't have a parent to model their behavior on. She will probably grow out of it.
  3. robbie1950

    robbie1950 New Egg

    Jun 19, 2016
    She and her coop mates are all the same age (18 weeks - at least within days of each other) as I got them from a person who raises, hatches and shows her chickens. I don't think she's lead hen, she might be 2nd or 3rd in line. She seems to be the most relaxed around me and is usually more vocal than the others anyway, but the squawking sound is totally different. I've noticed the roo hanging around her more, he grabbed her neck last week and tends to practice his crowing skills when he's close to her. I bet you're right about the sexual maturity level now that I've put all these pieces together. Thanks so much for your response!
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I'm thinking she'll be your first layer. Hormones come out in weird ways.
  5. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You can check her vent to see if she's close to point of lay. Feel for the bony protrusions on each side of the vent. If you can fit two fingers width, she's going to lay any day.

    The very fact the rooster is "courting" her, indicates she's very close, too.

    And last, Welsummers are intensely dramatic and very vocal as they experience egg-laying urges. When my five Welsummers are busy laying, it makes me doubly thankful I have no close neighbors. The racket is unbelievable.

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